When you enter Teri Conroy's shop, Darling Deviance Wool Shop & Gifts, you are immediately met with the sensation of being in an adult candy shop.
On every surface, the eye is met with a cornucopia of colours and textures, soft blues and fluffy vibrant pinks. There are also crochet hooks, kits, and just about anything craft-related you can think of.
"My yarn shop feels like my craft room," Conroy laughs. "It's really cozy, and I'm surrounded by things I love and am passionate about. And I'm really lucky to be able to connect with others with those passions."
Before Conroy opened her shop, she was working in healthcare administration. She found that she wasn't able to balance her family life with her work life, but knew she still wanted to do work that was meaningful to her. "I realized that I'd been selling crafts on Etsy for years, and that there was a service gap in the Hart for yarn stores... So why not me?"
Conroy also says that her variety is practically endless, noting that, "we carry lots of things you wouldn't normally find anywhere in town. Scheepjes is one of our popular brands. Merino, acrylics, straight wool, alpaca. We also carry a really good selection of Lion Brand from the states."
Conroy adds that her store has an advantage over others, saying, "being independently owned, we can order in whatever we want. Boxed craft stores, they are sent what they are sent. They can't order anything special in; they get what they get. We do special orders all the time."
Conroy enjoys the "laughter and connections, the friendships" she's made through having her shop, which is known for its private knitting and crocheting lessons. She hosts a drop in craft night for free on Tuesdays from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. And on April 27, Conroy’s shop will have an annual Local Yarn Store Day, where they’ll celebrate locally owned stores, offer exclusive knit and crochet kits, give away goodie bags for the first 20 customers, and more.
If you want to learn how to knit or crochet, or just buy some more yarn, head up to 2300 Hart Highway, just over the Hart bridge on the right hand side, after the first of lights in the Northwood Plaza. You can also check their Facebook page or visit www.darlingdeviance.com.